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Windpower Monthly's round-up of 2014 (part 2)

WORLDWIDE: Part two of Windpower Monthly's round-up of some of 2014's most popular -- if not most important -- wind-energy stories from the magazine and website over the last year.

  • MAY GE's commercial launch of  its new

    MAY GE's commercial launch of its new "space frame" turbine tower, made with 30% less steel than traditional towers

  • JUNE Two Senvion MM100 turbines were installed at an old coal mine in Wales

    JUNE Two Senvion MM100 turbines were installed at an old coal mine in Wales

  • JUNE Alstom installed a 6MW Haliade offshore turbine at the Belwind 2 project in Belgium

    JUNE Alstom installed a 6MW Haliade offshore turbine at the Belwind 2 project in Belgium

  • JUNE A 300-tonne 6.2MW nacelle manufactured by Senvion was installed for testing

    JUNE A 300-tonne 6.2MW nacelle manufactured by Senvion was installed for testing

  • JULY An onshore prototype of the Vertiwind 2MW vertical-axis floating turbine was installed this year in France

    JULY An onshore prototype of the Vertiwind 2MW vertical-axis floating turbine was installed this year in France

  • JULY Construction was completed at RWE's 576MW Gwynt y Mor project off the coast of north Wales

    JULY Construction was completed at RWE's 576MW Gwynt y Mor project off the coast of north Wales

  • JULY Dong Energy released images of its XL monopiles. Each one weighs 940 tonnes and measures 66.5 metres long

    JULY Dong Energy released images of its XL monopiles. Each one weighs 940 tonnes and measures 66.5 metres long

  • AUGUST A pilot suction bucket foundation was installed at Dong's 312MW Borkum Riffgrund 1 project

    AUGUST A pilot suction bucket foundation was installed at Dong's 312MW Borkum Riffgrund 1 project

  • AUGUST Monopiles were manufactured for the 600MW Gemini project being developed by Northland Power in the Netherlands

    AUGUST Monopiles were manufactured for the 600MW Gemini project being developed by Northland Power in the Netherlands

  • AUGUST A 23-metre diameter baseplate for Seatower's new gravity-based foundation was cast in France

    AUGUST A 23-metre diameter baseplate for Seatower's new gravity-based foundation was cast in France

  • SEPTEMBER At the WindEnergy Hamburg event, Nordex unveiled a 64.4-metre blade for its N117/3000 turbine

    SEPTEMBER At the WindEnergy Hamburg event, Nordex unveiled a 64.4-metre blade for its N117/3000 turbine

  • OCTOBER GE commissioned pictures of its 60MW McLean's Mountain project in Ontario, Canada

    OCTOBER GE commissioned pictures of its 60MW McLean's Mountain project in Ontario, Canada

  • OCTOBER Siemens completed the installation of turbines at the 288MW DanTysk offshore project in the North Sea

    OCTOBER Siemens completed the installation of turbines at the 288MW DanTysk offshore project in the North Sea

  • NOVEMBER AMBAU manufactured the tower for Mitsubishi's 7MW SeaAngel turbine being installed in Scotland

    NOVEMBER AMBAU manufactured the tower for Mitsubishi's 7MW SeaAngel turbine being installed in Scotland

  • NOVEMBER Nordex installed one of its new N117/3000 turbines on a 141-metre tower at the port of Hamburg, Germany

    NOVEMBER Nordex installed one of its new N117/3000 turbines on a 141-metre tower at the port of Hamburg, Germany

  • NOVEMBER The University of Maine conducted tests on a 1:8 scale prototype of its VolturnUS floating platform

    NOVEMBER The University of Maine conducted tests on a 1:8 scale prototype of its VolturnUS floating platform

  • DECEMBER Siemens installed one of its 6MW offshore turbines at an onshore site in Germany

    DECEMBER Siemens installed one of its 6MW offshore turbines at an onshore site in Germany

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July

Is storage the final piece of the wind power puzzle? Enercon seems to think so. It announces what it claims will be Germany's largest battery-based energy storage system with grid developer Energiequelle.

Big changes afoot as Siemens, as CTO Henrik Stiesdal announces plans to retire from the company. Also leaving is newly promoted onshore CEO Jan Kjaersgaard.

Anti-wind news reports in the media are common enough. Ususally, with skewed research. In this case though, research based on the prevalance of fires on wind turbines, is found to have been based on data from an anti-wind group.

August

Who says vertical-axis turbines are a thing of the past? An EDF project to float 2MW Darreus turbines takes a step further with the competion of a full-size prototype in France.

The price of wind energy in the US is at an all-time low, according to a new report from the Department of Energy.

Vestas has put both buildings of its headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark, up for sale, but will rent one of them back. The decision is part of plans to restructure the Danish business and move key functions to Copenhagen.

September

Aerodyn unveils an integrated floating platform and turbine design it claims can reduce offshore wind costs by 40%. Speaking at WindEnergy Hamburg, Aerodyn president Soenke Siegfriedsen tells Windpower TV: "At first, I was a little surprised about my ideas, but at the end we know it can work."

The Hamburg WindEnergy conference also provides a platform for Siemens to finally launch a low-wind turbine. The 3.3MW machine is fitted with a 130-metre rotor. But it will have stiff competition. Many other manufacturers have a head start in terms of low-wind.

Suzlon reveals plans to raise as much as $600 million by listing part of its German subsidiary Senvion on the London Stock Exchange. In an attempt to tackle its cumbersome debt, the Indian manufacturer's chairman, Tulsi Tanti, says at least 25% will be offered.

October

Vestas' efforts to build a leading position in the Brazilian market suffer a blow as it loses a 220MW contract. The project developer cancels its turbine deal, with insiders saying that Vestas had failed to meet local-sourcing regulations. Vestas is left red-faced when Gamesa steps in to fulfil the contract.

After months of speculation, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) reveals it has shut two of its wind-energy offices in Europe and is downsizing its wind business in South Korea. A source says that SHI will still explore opportunities in Europe, but is unable to define what those activities would be. SHI's flagship 7MW prototype turbine at the Fife Energy Park in Scotland is still spinning, but its fate remains unclear.

November

Following losses on a number of major projects, ABB reveals it will stop constructing offshore platforms under a new business model. The decision follows a dramatic fall in earnings for the power systems division, partly caused by project costs for offshore wind transmission systems.

MHI Vestas announces plans to lease Vestas' production facilities at its Isle of Wight plant to produce blades for the V164 8MW turbine. It described the move as the first part of a wider UK production strategy.

Siemens results are hit by faulty turbine costs, forcing the wind division into a loss for both the fourth quarter and 2014. The €223 million in charges are for inspecting and replacing main bearings in onshore turbines, as well as repairing blades on both onshore and offshore turbines.

December

Our exclusive look at Enercon's new 4MW turbine platform proved the most popular story in December. Three models make up the platform, with the first prototype of the E126 4.2MW medium-wind speed model planned for late 2015. The turbine is thought to be the first specifically developed to last for 30 years.

The dramatic collapse of a Suzlon turbine in Nicaragua also proved popular reading. The 2.1MW turbine nacelle caught fire and later crashed to the ground in an incident that also damaged two other turbines at the country's first wind project. Local press reports said all three machines suffered failure in their emergency braking systems, leaving them helpless against high gusts of wind.

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